Everybody has a favorite old game series that they'd like to see make a comeback, but modernizing a long-dormant franchise requires a deft touch. Not only do you have to please the old fans--who see their longtime favorites through rose-tinted nostalgia goggles--but you also have to find a way to make the game appealing to a newer audience. Fortunately for longtime Sega and beat-'em-up fans, Streets of Rage 4 adeptly walks the tightrope of classic and modern appeal while busting some heads in the process.
Taking place a decade after the third game (which released 26 years ago), Streets of Rage 4 reunites Axel and Blaze to unmask an evil plot devised by the children of series uber-antagonist Mr. X. Joining them are two new fighters: Cherry, a hard-rockin' young woman with deft moves and (literal) killer guitar riffs, and Floyd, a cybernetically-enhanced hulk who might not have speed or high jumps, but definitely has a myriad of ways to get his giant metal fists up in somebody's business. As the story unfolds, you meet characters old and new, sometimes in surprising places... but don't expect much from the plot, as it exists simply to take you to new and exciting locales where you pound a rogue's gallery of enemies into the pavement.